Mitt Romney won a clear -- and unsurprising -- victory in his current home state of Massachusetts on Super Tuesday.
Multiple news networks called the state for Romney, who served as governor between 2003 and 2007, shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. EST.
Romney was long expected to win Massachusetts, where the state's Republican voters tend to lean moderate. The most recent polling, released by Suffolk University on Feb. 17, showed him leading by almost 50 points over his closet rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Massachusetts awards 41 delegates to the Republican National Convention using a proportonal system. Candidates are required to win at least 15 percent of the vote on a district-by-district basis in order to receive delegates.
Nearly 6 in 10 GOP voters in Massachusetts said the economy was their top issue this election cycle, according to exit polling data from The Associated Press. Among voters who said they were looking for a candidate that could defeat President Barack Obama in November, more than 8 in 10 cast their ballot for Romney.
Interestingly, more than half of the Republican voters claimed Romney's ties to Massachusetts was not a prominent factor influencing their vote.
Just under half of voters said they supported the Tea Party movement, reportedly one of the lowest shares found in exit polling among Republicans in any state so far.
Romney cast his own ballot at a senior center in Belmont, Mass., near Boston, on Tuesday afternoon. He and his wife, Ann, own a condominium in the area, where they raised their own family.
The preliminary exit poll of 945 Massachusetts Republicans was conduced by the AP by Edison Research in a random sample of 25 precincts across the state.